While everyone else is talking about Absolut's Mexico ad fiasco, I really want to make sure we have all heard about or remember Absolut for its truly innovative marketing campaign implemented last spring in Germany. I'm talking about the ABSOLUT taxi:
The ABSOLUT Taxis were created to launch the brand's new (now current) advertising campaign: "In An Absolut World." For one week only, special Porsche Absolut taxis were available completely free of charge to bring residents and visitors in and around Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg to anywhere they pleased. By the end of the week, the Absolut taxis had serviced over 1200 passengers. Absolut went above and beyond traditional advertising, giving consumers more than just an image - it gave them an experience. By going all-out and pairing themselves with as recognizable a luxury brand as Porsche, Absolut unmistakably linked themselves to that same image of luxury - a connection that is especially important to communicate for products like vodka, which are not so easily distinguishable from other brands when judging based on something tangible and measurable, like the product's function.
The "In An Absolut World" campaign's basic premise is to illustrate more "ideal" life images - or in the case of the Absolut taxi, to realize this ideal by entering the "Absolut World." Each ad is meant to appeal to its own audience, addressing everything from the most basic desires (more bike lanes!) to the fantastical (male pregnancy?). The controversial Mexico ad was likewise designed to appeal to the emotions of Mexican citizens - and appeal it did. Nonetheless, Absolut later issued an apology to American consumers who were enraged by the ad's political implications, even though the ad was not issued in the U.S. and was not meant to imply any actual political stance on immigration and border control. In such a rapidly globalizing world as ours, it isn't too hard to see how a company's advertising in one country can have such a strong effect on another, but I think it's important to see this ad campaign for what it is - a group of separate appeals to individual audiences united under a common theme. After all, I may not care for a Mexico that still lays claim to the entire southwestern United States, but a free cab ride in a Porsche? Please, take *me* to an Absolut world!